Around September 2016, after spending two years in the UK, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in PR. Although I had previous marketing experience working in Bulgaria, I didn’t have any relevant qualifications from the UK, which is considered almost essential to get your foot into the industry.
I looked into a few courses, but in my opinion, the tuition fees felt overpriced and it was more reasonable to look into an MA degree. I have always wanted to pursue an MA so the decision and timing felt just right. When I saw the course offered by Cardiff University, ”International PR and Global Communications Management”, I thought this was exactly what I wanted to study. It sounded as if the course would give me the right foundation as well as a global understanding, widening my knowledge of communications. Continuing with the research, I even found out that the Cardiff University course had a very good reputation within this subject area. Towards the end of my program, I found out that the university is part of the Russell Group Universities. I really wish that I came across a blog appraising the course like the one I have written here when I was trying to decide on the course! After having that amazing year at Cardiff University, I know my choice was right.
As an international student with no friends studying in the UK who might have been able to advise me about Cardiff, I simply had to do my own research. I spent around a week having an extensive look at all the different rankings, fees, locations and what the universities could offer. In the end, there were a few factors that made me choose Cardiff University.
- The University was ranked first for Journalism, Publishing and PR by The Guardian.
- Cardiff has an excellent reputation as a friendly, international and vibrant city.
- As far as I am aware, this is the only ‘’international’’ course within the communications field.
- Cardiff University is part of the Russel Group Universities.
- As the course is international, it offers opportunities for widening cultural perspectives. (My course group was formed of 70 people from 22 countries)
I applied in January 2017 for the program starting on September 2017. A few weeks later, I received a conditional offer as I needed to comply an IELTS test with at least 7 overalls. There is also a University run ten-week pre-sessional English course that is available for students who reach 6.5 on their IELTS exam. Then, I prepared myself for the English exam studying for three months. I attended in July and received 7.5 the first time, which to be honest saved a lot of time, stress and money. I was happily waiting for the course to start.
The course, for me, was an exciting mixture of theory and practice. After building up your knowledge base in the first semester, you will start sweating during the second one as the real-time practice begins. For sure, in the end, you will be able to work with a variety of software/tools and have the in-depth knowledge to research, design a poster or manage social media accounts. Also, you will be aware of creating and implementing a communication strategy. Based on my own experience, I can confirm that this will give you the confidence you need for starting your first job. The academic team will make you think differently, which nowadays is very much a requirement in the professional world.
My fiancé and I moved to Newport, South Wales on 25th September. Cardiff University is only a 15-20 minutes train journey from Newport, but I recommend that you live in Cardiff. We rented a house in Newport because he started work in the city and it was also relatively close to Cardiff. During the year I was travelling by car, train or bus, whichever suited me best for my day’s schedule. I know that there are great student accommodations in Cardiff. While I don’t have the experience of living in student accommodations personally, I visited a few of my colleagues living in their studios or rooms and they looked amazing, comfortable, and with great locations near to the shops and the university. To find out more please visit here.
Hope you enjoyed reading my blog!